Swimming: Dive Into Your Workout

Paul Bradbury

Paul Bradbury

Swimming is one of those activities that often gets overlooked until people discuss the reign of Phelps or take a trip to the beach. While it is an Olympic favorite, not many people jump into the pool themselves. It can be intimidating because of the vigorous movement and endurance, but it is considered one of the best whole body workouts. The sport can be an invigorating way to add spontaneity to your daily gym routine regardless of the season.

Swimming has been characterized as the ideal sport for the benefit of getting an active workout in without straining the body too much. It is a sport that is enjoyed by all age groups and does not require a heap of equipment. Known for improving muscular strength, different movements target the upper and lower body. Embracing different strokes proves to be beneficial for a whole body workout. Swimmers use their legs to kick and their arms to resist the pull of the waves, using enormous strength. As the arms are actively moving, the abdomen is tightened and core strength comes into play. This is evident from the traditional lean body of a swimmer. Think Phelps. 

With a variety of strokes, the sport requires the body to be rather flexible, contorting and twisting in different ways. Pushing against the pressure of the water, while gracefully making strides can improve flexibility and help make you a dynamic athlete. The cardiovascular workout strengthens the heart muscles and can reduce inflammation in the chest. While you're improving your endurance, it also helps burn calories at an accelerated rate. Swimming is just as beneficial as running at the gym, so why not allow yourself to have another creative outlet. In just 10 minutes of swimming, you can burn 60 calories or more depending on your stroke. More vigorous movements such as the intensified butterfly stroke will increase your calorie burning efforts and help build endurance.

Swimming is also a mental sanctuary. It releases endorphins in your body as you connect with the water in a serene environment. Many researchers found that it gives your body a relaxing stimulation as you stretch your limbs and get into a rhythm. It allows you to be creative with various strokes, movements, and breathing exercises. An additional reason to grab your suit? It improves fine tune movements and motor skills, while gaining confidence at a young age. And above all, it can improve the quality of life and increase your time here. According to Dr. Blair from the University of South Carolina, those who swam had a 50 percent lower death rate than runners, walkers, or men who didn't exercise. 

It is absolutely impactful and you can expect to see a change quickly because of the intensity of the sport. It builds muscular strength and endurance like no other without straining your joints and giving muscle spasms. For all of the athletes out there who are focused on other sports, don't cut swimming out just yet. Many athletes have utilized swimming as a form of low-impact therapy following an injury. It alleviates stress and does not feel as physically gruesome even though it can burn the most calories. It is a sport you can enjoy the rest of your life and also use it a life skill and for leisure. Knowing how to be a good swimmer can allow you to explore unchartered waters in the open blue sea. Next time you take a tropical vacation, go further out and embrace the nature without having to worry about your endurance. It is easy to practice and can be a great way to beat the summer heat or add some fun to a normal gym routine. Whether its a pool, lake, or ocean, it works your body, creating a challenging workout for any period in your life. There is nothing better than knowing that you are getting one of the best workouts, but not sweating like crazy because the water is constantly keeping you cool. 

When you do decide to try it, remember that you can get creative with it too. If you feel like your ready to amp up your routine, try a different stroke or increase your number of laps. You can also add weights or dives into your aerobic workout, setting various goals throughout your journey as a swimmer. 

Most importantly, dive right in. It is definitely challenging, but all the greatest workouts are. It can also cut your workout time in half. Instead of spending 2 hours or more at the gym, get in a 30 minute intensified pool routine and burn more calories. With a combination of muscular strength and overwhelming relaxation, it will help you look and feel at your bes t.